Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse of a child is considered a serious crime under most state child abuse laws. Additionally, most states have what are known as "mandatory reporter" laws, which require certain professionals (such as doctors, teachers, and church clergy) with regular access to children to report signs of abuse to the proper authorities. Michigan child abuse law, for example, also lists counselors and social workers as mandatory reporters.
Child Abuse and Child Neglect
Both child abuse and child neglect are illegal in Michigan. Child neglect means negligent treatment of a child, including the failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, or medical care.
What Agency Is Responsible For Investigating Claims of Child Abuse in Michigan?
The Children's Protective Services (CPS) program is responsible for investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect.
The following chart summarizes Michigan child abuse laws and which adults are designated as mandatory reporters of abuse. See Child Abuse Overview for more general information about the crime.
|Statute(s)||Michigan Compiled Laws Section 750.136b|
|What Constitutes Child Abuse?||
First degree child abuse: knowingly or intentionally causing serious physical or mental harm.
Second degree child abuse:
Third degree child abuse:
Fourth degree child abuse:
|Charges and Penalties||
First degree child abuse is a felony punishable by a prison term up to and including life.
Second degree child abuse is a felony punishable by not more than 10 years in prison for the first offense, and not more than 20 years in prison for subsequent offenses.
Third degree child abuse is felony punishable by not more than 2 years in prison.
Fourth degree child abuse is a misdemeanor punishable by not more than 1 year in prison.
|Related Statute(s)||Michigan Compiled Laws Section 722.61, et seq. (Child Protection Law)|
|Mandatory Reporting Required By||Listed in Section 722.623|
|Penalties for Failure to Report or False Reporting||
Failure to Report by Mandatory Reporter:
Intentionally Making a False Report:
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Research the Law
Michigan Child Abuse Laws: Related Resources
Charged with Child Abuse in Michigan? Get Legal Help
Child abuse is a serious crime that can not only land you in jail, but also lead you to lose custody of your child. If you've been charged with child abuse under Michigan's laws, it's in your best interests to speak to a local criminal defense attorney to learn about your rights and options.
Contact a qualified attorney.